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Sri Lanka taking stock of rebel gold

[Xinhua, Saturday, 4 July 2009 09:16 No Comment]

The military in Sri Lanka said on Saturday that a large stock of gold and jewelry had been recovered from the former rebel held territory in the north.

    A large haul of gold and jewelry were discovered at the northeastern Mullaittivu district’s Puthukudyiruppu area on Friday, officials from the Ministry of Defense said.

    Among them were nearly 200 gold bangles.

    The officials said the gold may belong to the illegal bank the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) operated named the "Eelam Bank".

    Udaya Nanayakkara, the military spokesman said steps are being taken to verify the owners of the jewelry.

    Nanayakkara said the troops are conducting more search operations in the former rebel held areas looking for more assets.

    Large stocks of ammunition, weapons and machinery buried by the LTTE have surfaced from the areas since they were crushed by the government troops since May.

    The LTTE had been fighting for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east for more than two decades based on claims that the minority Tamils were being discriminated by the majority Sinhalese dominated governments.

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